IDOCs » why compromise. mind the dance. CHAPTER 2
A personal way of documentation in several chapters by Márta Ladjánszki (H) Proofreading by Zsolt Varga Connected to: Common and different (Collectivity – Responsibility – Performativity) by Oleg Soulimenko (RU/AT)

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why compromise. mind the dance. – 2017
5th IDOCDE Symposium on Contemporary Dance Education
A personal way of documentation in several chapters by Márta Ladjánszki (H)
Proofreading by Zsolt Varga


Common and different (Collectivity – Responsibility – Performativity) by Oleg Soulimenko (RU/AT)
I knew Oleg and I have to admit that I really liked his way of moderating and always charming of giving instructions. I was very curious what he was proposing now as with the same title I was happy to introduce him last year to an academic-practical symposium organized by L1 Association (under my artistic leadership).
“The workshop was offering to be a performance at the same time, where we would play a constellation game relating to culture and politics and society. The participants was planned to get information and learn about each other and at same time make decision about their role and agency in this group, which could be considered as a model of a special society.”
And yeah, this was what happened :-)
It was a workshop performance which started with a soft invitation by Oleg:
“Maybe we can start, maybe we come to a circle!”
“For me it is also an experiment.”
“I thought my English will be better, but it became worse:-) If you don’t understand me, don’t hesitate to ask me.”

… immediately with delicate humour and honesty.
Oleg asked the partners to stand in a circle and “squeeze the hands, really strong but don’t make it pain” first the left than the right ones. After this they lost hold of hands he offered to “allow us to work with performativity, collectivity and responsibility”. As he read the “rules” the partners were echoing, repeating it as a common praying.
They kept the circle but lied down on the floor (heads to the center), Oleg asked the participants to “give the weight to the floor” and “let it go”, than EXHALE through the mouth “we don’t take care so much about inhale for now”. “With every exhale you pick up some sound, don’t take care about creativity of it, you listen the other sounds as well”. There was no need to inspire the partners they immediately started to breath, yawn and mutter :-) After like 10’ of practicing (the group was rather dimmed than loud) “say good-bye to your sound” and Oleg asked them to find their way to standing. He did the exercise with them.

“Walk in the room and observe the space in between people. Observe: where you would like to walk, do you have some preference (center or periphery), you have choice how to walk. now choose a person who is stranger to you and follow this person secretly (5 m)”.
It was already funny to see from outside how a lot of women followed one tall guy with glasses.
“And now follow the one who is sympathetic to you.”

[Is it possible that these two are the same person?]

“Now stop and find a posture, where you are the most individual and most important in the room.”
“And now change and find the less important and individual.”
“How do you feel now – can U define it for you?”
“Find a person who you think eat the similar food like you” – slowly the people (mostly they did not know each other) try to guess who eats what)…
“Find the person who you think the same cultural policy in Europe.”

So now we knew the game, we followed the questions-answers and people were teaming up or separating from each other – traveling in the space.

“… who think was born on the wrong place step two to the front” (not too many moved, but Oleg and Eszter)
“… who thinks that he/she is the youngest, come to the middle of the room”
“… second youngest ones, come to the center” (hesitation, thinking, eyeing each other)
… third youngest”
“…fourth youngest”
“… speaks perfect English put the hands up”
“… doesn’t speak put the hands up”
“if you earn per month less than 900 EUR lie down on the floor”
“if you leave in house/apartment and have less 30 m2 lie down”
“would you fight for your country, sit down on the floor if yes”
“you should pay more than you are payed, lie down on the floor” (almost everyone lied down)
“if you live in a country where you were not born lie down”
“if you live in a country and have another citizenship lie down”
“if you ever have eaten animal please go to the wall” (just one girl was standing in the center)
“tell, which part of your body you don’t like” (the participants talked silently)
“have you been in Georgia, if yes, lie down on the floor on the back” (only two)
“have been on the North Pole” (nobody)
“would you like to be born in New Zealand, take a child position”
“and now please dance a very-very individual way” and Oleg switched on the music with a loud techno/house like music and the participants slowly started to sneak in the space. It seemed for me that they liked to hang around after looking for honest answers.

In the meantime three audience members came in the studio, the participants were still wobbling, floating around, one of them was shooting out her tongue while walking on her toes. Oleg still worked together with the partners, he gave clear rules and it seemed each participant discovered themselves, their own way of free dance with pleasure. There were no questions, although there could have been.
As the track was over they returned to the QUESTIONNAIRE of Oleg:
“Make as much steps how many years did you take to first realize your nationality. Each year 1 step.”
“Name one thing you wish never happened in the past in the world.”
“Did you lie today, take a chair and sit down.”
“If you believe in Chinese horoscope sit down.”
“If you are vegetarian please go to that corner.”
“If you love meat please go to another corner.” (just two were walking away)
“Do you like to eat fish, go to the center.” (almost everyone moves away from the corner)
“What is your opinion about GMO. Yes, go to the right side, NO, go to the left side.” (empty right side)
“What was your mistake today, name it.” (as they were standing very close to each other it became an intimate sharing process by saying/hearing the answers).

And now came a next dancing part where Oleg asked his partners not to use banal movements (low-key, one spot stepping with low tone music). There was a kind of ethereal sound, most of the dancers were moving motoric and swinging through the space. That inner attention which I witnessed during Shannon’s class as well was appearing here again but now the participants were moving rather in a slower, tuned in mode with engrossment including deepening. Most of them were using repetition.
As the music stopped the next questionnaire followed:
“Do you eat while you take a shower YES or NO” (surprisingly there were more yes-es)
“Do you have sympathy to the communist party of Cuba, please sing a song.”
“Do you have sympathy to the communist party of China, please sing a song.”
“Would you go on holiday to Ukraine, please sing a song.” (two were singing their own songs silently).

PLEASE COME AGAIN TO CIRCLE! (lying on the floor and the heads were together, but the bodies had space) “Carpet of different sounds – don’t need to be too creative” – they lied down. After like a 10’ long sound session again (which was a bit louder than in the first round) they entered to SILENCE.

[What is the role of the sound? Is it also a kind of movement? How can we connect and are we in connection really? Breathing, vibrating the vocal folds, attention, releasing, accompanying, creating together.]

(For some participants the long lying on the floor is also tiring.)

Again Oleg asked the participants to find their own way to stand up (which took a bit longer this time) and asked them to “Say whatever you want and please do whatever you want.”
The words appeared slowly, but not too many, in most of the cases people were talking in/to themselves.

Oleg asked them as participants and witnesses of the class how they would reflect on the dramaturgy of the class. And at the same time he thanked their partnership in witnessing and that they were embodying his class (as this was needed for his research).
“In a collectivity your strong opinion can start to change.”
“Not interactive, but with an audience it is also an active performance.”
“After a while you can realize in this questionnaire that it is up to you if you cheat or not.”
Oleg was looking for this game situation (safety, common decision to play this game).
Eszter was adding that the way Oleg was proposing was so casual that it was obvious to join. She was performer and spectator plus gently touching different topics, she was curious to see it from outside. How was it possible to see it from outside. She was even sleeping in the second sound-making, she discovered she was not giving the sound but was IN THE CARPET.
“You gave us very specific tools, if then do this/that.”

[I am touched by the way of moderation and guidance but am I feeling the same as the participants? From outside it was a perfect harmonization of people who wanted to share the space.]
(… to be continued :-) )

IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 12 OlegSoulimenko RUS k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 11 OlegSoulimenko RUS k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 16 OlegSoulimenko RUS k

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